The much anticipated COVID-19 vaccines are here in NJ and some healthcare workers just received their second doses of the vaccine, meaning that they are now fully vaccinated. While the state has been focused in the past few weeks on getting vaccines to healthcare workers on the front lines, and those in long-term care facilities, you’re likely wondering when you’ll be able to get yours.

Instead of calling your doctor’s office 5 times a week and asking, the state has released the stages in which the vaccines will be released. Coming soon, NJ residents will be able to pre-register to get a vaccine to make sure they’re on the list and to get it as soon as their phase becomes available. Head to covid19.nj.gov/pages/vaccine for complete information and info on how to sign up.

Note, since the site has just launched it is overloaded and many users are experiencing problems logging in. So have patience, and maybe wait a day or two before signing up for your pre-registered spot.

Currently, vaccines are available to those in Phase 1A which includes paid and unpaid people serving in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials as well as residents and staff of long-term congregate settings.

Once vaccine availability expands, vaccination will advance to Phase 1B, which will include front line essential workers and individuals over 75.

After those individuals have received their vaccines it will be on to Phase 1C which will include other essential workers, adults 65-74, and those aged 16-64 with medical conditions that increase the risk for severe COVID-19.

After that, Phase 2 will start, which will open up the vaccine to the general public. New Jersey’s COVID-19 goal is to vaccinate 70 percent of the adult population – or 4.7 million adults – within six months.

The advanced registration that’s coming soon to the website will be a statewide vaccine scheduling system to help consumers connect with identified nearby points of dispensing sites. This online portal will enable the various groups in the initial phases and eventually the general public to find a vaccination site, pre-register, and schedule an appointment. Some vaccination sites may offer walk-up/on-site registration as well when doses are more readily available.

If you have concerns, the state also recommends reading the information below before getting vaccinated:

For the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, please consult these FDA fact sheets:

For the Moderna vaccine, please consult these FDA fact sheets:

As of today, New Jersey has confirmed 494, 317 positive PCR tests and 50,838 positive antigen tests (the rapid test), with 2,292 new PCR positive cases today and 822 new positive antigen cases today. There are currently 3,633 people hospitalized with COVID-19, 476 of whom are on ventilators. To date, NJ has lost 17,223 people to COVID, with 38 new deaths confirmed over the weekend.